Pope Still Draws People by the Millions

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VATICAN CITY, JAN. 10, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Last year John Paul II met with or greeted more than 2 million faithful at the Vatican, according to statistics published by the Holy See.



The figure does not include the hundreds of thousands of people who went to see the Pope during his two international trips in 2004, especially at Lourdes, France, last May. The Holy Father also went to Bern, Switzerland, for a meeting with young people.

In a statement, the prefecture of the Pontifical Household reported that "in the course of the solar year 2004, more than 2.2 million faithful and pilgrims attended public meetings with the Holy Father."

A total of 504,600 people attended the Pope's 48 Wednesday general audiences.

In "special audiences" granted to groups of pilgrims from all over the world, John Paul II received 197,200 people. Another 523,000 pilgrims participated in liturgical celebrations at which the Pope presided.

A total of 1,007,000 pilgrims gathered in St. Peter's Square on Sundays or feast days to pray the Angelus with the Holy Father.